Ohio State Energy in the News

Ohio State University joins new University Climate Change Coalition


February 6, 2018

The Ohio State University has joined the newly launched University Climate Change Coalition, an alliance of 13 leading research universities that will create a collaborative model to help local communities achieve climate goals.

The initial group of universities from the United States, Canada and Mexico has committed to mobilize resources and expertise to accelerate local and regional climate action in partnership with businesses, cities and states, Ohio State said in a news release.

ALSO: Politico: University presidents unveil global warming coalition


ALSO: Grist: 13 universities band together to fight climate change.


Trustees delay endowments from Ohio State energy deal

The Columbus Dispatch

February 2, 2018

An Ohio State University trustees committee has put on hold several proposals to create endowments using funds from its $1.1-billion energy deal approved last spring.

Before the board of trustees this week were proposals to create four endowments totaling about $775 million. On Thursday, the board’s finance committee decided to table the matter pending further discussion about how and why the funds were prioritized and divided.

"Waste Not" proves to be a winning formula for Ohio State: BTN LiveBIG

Big Ten Network

January 31, 2018

Ah, the sights and sounds of a college football game: the roar of cheering fans, the quarterback’s calls, the precision formation of that big brass band, the face paint, the foam fingers, the… garbage.

But this common scenario could soon be a thing of the past thanks to a nationwide initiative called the GameDay Recycling Challenge. The program pits colleges and universities across the US against each other in an effort to see which school can reduce, recycle or otherwise divert the largest amount of their stadium waste away from landfills.

For the sixth consecutive year, The Ohio State University has led the Big Ten in the competition, diverting the largest single-game amount of waste in 2017 with 94.2 percent of stadium refuse kept out of the dump.

The scientist who predicted ice-sheet collapse — 50 years ago


January 30, 2018

Fifty years ago, many scientists were looking up. But in Antarctica, John Mercer was looking down — and he was concerned about what he saw.

That year, the late Mercer, a glaciologist at Ohio State University in Columbus, first warned about the potential for rapid sea-level rise from melting ice caps.

Ohio State energy deal to yield campus utility improvements

The Columbus Dispatch

January 30, 2018

Ohio State University is about to begin its first round of capital utility improvements since the university entered into a $1.1 billion energy privatization deal last year.

Ohio State Energy Partners has six utility projects ready to go, pending Ohio State Board of Trustees’ approval later this week.

ALSO: The Lantern: Ohio State Energy Partners to begin first round of energy conservation efforts, pending Board of Trustees approval

Extreme Weather Testing Infrastructures of Schools Across Nation

Diverse Issues in Higher Education

January 29, 2018

From raging forest fires on the West Coast to heavy snowfall on the East Coast and bone-chilling cold between, extreme and unpredicted weather patterns this school year have disrupted college classes and tested campus infrastructures.

…In Ohio, where The Ohio State University’smain campus in Columbus has an underground system built to deliver water, heat and cool air to its 140 buildings, university officials tout a nearly 100-percent successful performance rating of its system, which in an average winter week can generate 500,000 pounds of steam an hour from its natural gas-fired boilers.

Last year, OSU contracted with a private Ohio vendor, ENGIE Services, to manage most of its underground power system and help its department of facilities, operations and development on a variety of projects aimed at energy reduction.

Ohio State associate professor among scientists pushing back against EPA ban

The Columbus Dispatch

January 29, 2018

Scientists filed a second lawsuit last week challenging federal Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s new policy for science advisers serving the agency.
…Ohio State associate professor Robyn Wilson is one of a half-dozen scientists asked to step down as a result of the new rule. She refused to do that or give up her funding. In December, she joined a lawsuit filed to challenge the new rule. She is not involved in the new suit.

Ohio State students build supercomputer for earth science research


January 28, 2018

A student project usually does not require 128 circuit boards and 512 processors.

The Ohio State University earth sciences and physics students named the supercomputer Buckeye Pi: an off-the-rack materials project that cost about $7,500 to build, in a world where supercomputers usually carry a price tag in the millions of dollars.

The work began in the garage of the OSU School of Earth Sciences professor Dr. Joachim Moortgat, who supervised the project.

Macron’s pledge to wipe out coal is just as meaningless as Trump’s plan to revive it

The Conversation

January 25, 2018

In a speech at the 2018 World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland, French President Emmanuel Macron said he wanted to “make France a model in the fight against climate change” and promised to shut all coal-fired power plants by 2021 – two years earlier than the timetable put forward by his predecessor.

Featured expert: column author Jay Zagorsky, economist and research scientist

Corals have weaker immunity as the climate warms


January 23, 2018

The balance of bacteria within coral mucus is very important because it serves as a type of artificial immune system, keeping corals healthy by preventing bad bacteria from entering their systems. Researchers at Ohio State University have identified two effects of climate change which can disrupt the vital balance in coral microbe populations and allow bad bacteria to take over their bodies.

Featured expert: Andrea Grottoli, professor of earth sciences

Bigger, Faster Avalanches, Triggered by Climate Change

New York Times

January 24, 2018

A deadly 2016 glacier collapse in Tibet surpassed scientists’ expectations—until it happened again. They worry it’s only the beginning.

Featured expert: Lonnie G. Thompson, professor of geological sciences

Scientists leading algae fight

Toledo Blade (editorial)

January 24, 2018

Ohio State University’s algae researchers have launched yet another initiative to help the state track and study the dangerous algae threatening bodies of water around Ohio.

The university’s scientists have long led efforts to study the algae that blankets portions of Lake Erie every summer.

Regulatory ruling leaves energy companies wondering what future holds

Toledo Blade

January 13, 2018

"What the FERC said was, no, this doesn't make any sense to them, and they kicked further discussion back to the RTOs,” Prof. Edward Hill, a teacher of economic development, public, and finance policy at Ohio State University, said. “It said they know best where the reliability issues are in their systems.”

Featured expert: Ned Hill, professor of public policy

EPA Awards $681,343 to Ohio State University for Harmful Algae Blooms Research

Environmental Protection Magazine

January 11, 2018

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $681,343 to The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, for research on the prediction, prevention, control, and mitigation of freshwater harmful algal blooms.

Harmful algae blooms (HABs) are overgrowths of algae and cyanobacteria in water that can product dangerous toxins that hurt local economies and the environment.

ALSO: WOSU: Ohio State Researchers Win Federal Grant To Study Algae Problems

ALSO: Associated Press: Research aims to predict algae blooms on lakes, rivers

As Ohio moves away from coal, carbon emissions continue to fall

Midwest Energy News

January 8, 2019

While the state is still a major polluter, Ohio’s shift away from coal has led to a significant reduction in carbon emissions.

Carbon dioxide emissions from Ohio’s energy sector fell by 50 million metric tons from 2005 to 2015, according to data recently released by the Energy Information Administration.

Featured expert: Norm Dormady, assistant professor, John Glenn College of Public Affairs

Soil power! The dirty way to a green planet

Regenerative agriculture can help soil absorb carbon from the air and slow the advance of climate change

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

January 7, 2018

Rattan Lal, the director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at Ohio State University, estimates that soil has the potential to sequester carbon at a rate of between 0.9 and 2.6 gigatons per year. That’s a small part of the 10 gigatons a year of current carbon emissions, but it’s still significant. Somewhat reassuringly, some scientists believe the estimate is low.

“Putting the carbon back in soil is not only mitigating climate change, but also improving human health, productivity, food security, nutrition security, water quality, air quality — everything,” Mr. Lal told me over the phone. “It’s a win-win-win option.”

Featured expert: Rattan Lal, director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center

Zero-emissions ‘chemical looping’ converts fossil fuels into electricity

The Engineer

January 4, 2018

The researchers, engineers from Ohio State University in Columbus, have published their findings in two papers in the journal Energy and Environmental Science. Developing a technology called coal-direct chemical looping combustion (CDCL), which project leader Prof Liang-Shih Fan and his team first invented five years ago, the engineers describe their technique as a stop gap for providing clean energy while the cost of renewable generation continues to fall.

Featured expert: L.S. Fan, Distinguished University Professor in chemical and biomolecular engineering

ALSO: Product Design & Development: A Fossil Fuel Technology That Doesn't Pollute

ALSO: EconoTimes: Turns Out ‘Clean Coal’ Is Actually Real, Sort Of

ALSO: AZoCheantech: New Chemical Looping Technology Could Provide Clean Electricity

ALSO: Power Technology: Researchers develop environmentally friendly technology converting fossil fuels into electricity

ALSO: International Business Times: Using Fossil Fuels Will Not Produce Carbon Dioxide, Thanks To This Technology

Can 'super-corals' save the reefs?

Research suggests that some coral species will likely adapt to changing ocean conditions. But resilience may come at the cost of diversity.

Christian Science Monitor

December 29, 2017

For the past two years, Professor Grottoli and her colleagues had subjected these corals to some truly harsh conditions, the kind that climate models suggest could become the new normal by the end of the 21st century. When she harvested them from reefs around the Hawaiian island of Oahu, Grottoli had hoped that some would acclimate to the excessively warm and acidic waters of the tank, but “there was a real risk that they were all going to die after two years,” the Ohio State University coral researcher says.

Featured expert: Andréa Grottoli, professor of earth sciences

Looking for a New Year’s resolution? Consider going green and reducing waste

The Columbus Dispatch

December 25, 2017

The average family of four could save about $1,600 annually on tossed leftovers, according to Brian Roe, an agricultural, environmental and development economics professor at Ohio State University.

“That’s a nice chunk of change,” Roe said. “We all cringe a bit if we bought that nice fish for a high price and we don’t end up eating it.”

Featured expert: Brian Roe, professor of agricultural, environmental and development economics

Biology: Warming climate threatens Santa, reindeer and more

The Columbus Dispatch

December 24, 2017

As a biologist, I miss traditional Christmases like those that we had when I was a boy.

Santa (aka Sinterklaas, Babbo Natale, Kanakaloka, etc.) lives at the North Pole, according to many folk tales.

Featured expert: Steve Rissing, biology